Djokovic has soft spot for Aussie Open
– World No 1 Novak Djokovic (left) revealed his fondness for the Australian Open yesterday, saying the tournament kick-started his storied career when he won his first Slam in Melbourne more than a decade ago.
Perhaps prompted by Andy Murray’s shock announcement that this year’s appearance will be his last, Djokovic allowed himself to wax nostalgic about the season-opening Grand Slam.
His breakthrough came against France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2008 and he has won five more times since, most recently against Murray in 2016.
“It was my first major trophy, that obviously served as a great springboard for my career,” said
the Serb, who has 14 Slams in the trophy cabinet.
“It opened a lot of doors for me. It allowed me to believe in myself that I can actually win the biggest tournaments in the world, challenge the best players in the world.”
Top seed Djokovic, who launches his campaign for a record seventh crown against American Mitchell Krueger tomorrow, also enjoyed strong support from Melbourne’s large Serb community.
But the 31-year-old said all fans in Australia created a special atmosphere.
“They call it the Happy Slam for a reason,” he said. “There’s a lot of good vibe, good buzz around the city.” –